President Obama pledged to veto any new sanctions on Iran during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
"New sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies, and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again," the president warned lawmakers.
"It doesn’t make sense," he continued. "That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom."
Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates Advocates frustrated by shrinking legal migration under Biden Rand Paul blocks quick vote on House-passed B Iron Dome funding MORE (D-N.J.) and Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (R-Ill.) have recently drafted legislation that would impose sanctions on Iran if it walks away from international negotiations or violates the terms of any deal.
Opponents of the bill say it would only empower hardliners in Iran who oppose a deal, and weaken international cooperation in applying pressure to Iran.
The U.S. and other world powers are in talks with Iran to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The international community fears Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.
The talks have been extended twice, but June 30 is expected to be the final deadline.
Obama touted the negotiations, saying they had helped halt Iran’s nuclear program and urging patience.
"Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material," the president said.
"Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies — including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict," he said.
Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE’s (R-Ohio) office responded to the president’s remarks by sharing news articles showing broad support in Congress for sanctions.
"There is bipartisan support for Iran sanctions legislation, and bipartisan opposition to the president’s veto threats," said a statement.